Review of Nekomonogatari Black

Reevothemusefan

Vampire Ninja
<img src="http://www.animeuknews.net/img/uploaded/2014-12-17513Hoj3LDrL.jpg">

<b>Review of Nekomonogatari Black by Reevothemusefan</b>

We head back into the past with the prequel to <em>Bakemonogatari,</em> the 4-episode OVA <em>Nekomonogatari Black. </em>Given&nbsp;the slight disappointment of <em>Nisemonogatari</em>, will this show deliver more of what makes the <em>Monogatari</em> series great?<br>

As mentioned, <em>Nekomonogatari Black</em> takes place before the events of <em>Bakemonogatari.&nbsp;</em>It is currently the Golden Week holiday, so Araragi's school is closed and&nbsp;the episode opens with him discussing love with his sister Tsubaki. After a bunch of witty dialogue, we learn that he has some feelings of sexual frustration toward his classmate Tsubasa Hanekawa&nbsp;and that is why he has brought up this romance topic.<br>

After this discussion, Araragi decides to head outside, only to bump into Hanekawa. We see her with a bandage on her cheek and while she refuses to tell him at first, she&nbsp;later&nbsp;reveals&nbsp;in&nbsp;confidence that her father hit her. This leads to some revelations throughout the series and we learn how Hanekawa got her cat apparition.<br>

While I liked the <em>Tsubasa </em>arc in <em>Bakemonogatari</em>, the problem with it&nbsp;is that it never makes Hanekawa's character interesting; she always seem to be a big know-it-all that occasionally helps out at times, but <em>Nekomonogatari Black</em> brings some much needed depth to her character. The Sawari Neko apparition that takes her over gets more screentime compared to<em> Bakemonogatari</em>, and it allows us to discover her motivations and the reasons why she is causing harm to random people.<br>

Again, dialogue takes centre stage throughout these episodes; during the first two it's more light-hearted with the usual witty humour which works most of the time but can get a bit boring. However, by the end of Episode 2, things start to pick up&nbsp;as it deals with&nbsp;Hanekawa's current situation with her parents. I can easily recommend this box-set if you care about her character.<br>

The SHAFT studio production is solid as before, using a wide range of animation styles and backgrounds which once again make the show stand out compared to other anime series; the music is well done, especially in the last episode climax, and the voice acting is fantastic.<br>

I&nbsp;should point out again that the series is only four episode long, so length might be an issue&nbsp;for some, but what is available here is worth it.<br>

Extras include textless Openings and Endings plus some trailers.<br>

In Summary<br>

While not the best release of the franchise, these episodes&nbsp;focus on&nbsp;one of the least interesting characters in<em> Bakemonogatari</em> and turn it the other way around. If you don't mind the total episodes you're getting - four -&nbsp;then I recommend it.<br>

<b>Final score: 7 out of 10</b>

<b>Additional screencaps</b>

<img src="http://www.animeuknews.net/img/uploaded/screens/2014-12-17vlcsnap-2014-12-17-00h27m50s69.png">

<img src="http://www.animeuknews.net/img/uploaded/screens/2014-12-17vlcsnap-2014-12-17-00h28m40s56.png">

<img src="http://www.animeuknews.net/img/uploaded/screens/2014-12-17vlcsnap-2014-12-17-00h29m01s38.png">
 
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